Coming Up
  • Fri., Jul. 25, 2014 6:00 PM CDT Packers 1K Kids Run

    Back to Football also includes the 1K Kids Run, presented by WPS Health Insurance. Kids 10 years old and younger will have the opportunity to run a Lambeau Lap on Friday, July 25, at 6 p.m. Registration for the Kids Run is $10 and all participants will receive a Packers 1K Run t-shirt, a logoed bag and a participant medal.

    http://www.packers.com/5k

  • Fri., Jul. 25, 2014 7:00 PM CDT Movie Night at Lambeau Field

    Movie Night at Lambeau Field will return this year on Friday, July 25, following the 1K Kids Run. The event is free and open to the public, and concessions will be available throughout the movie. More details will be announced at a later date.

    Time listed above is subject to change.

  • Sat., Jul. 26, 2014 6:30 PM CDT Packers 5K Run/Walk

    The fifth annual ‘5K Run/Walk at Lambeau Field,’ is set for Saturday, July 26, at 6:30 p.m.

    The computer-timed run is highlighted by a neighborhood route that ultimately takes participants into Lambeau Field and around the famed gridiron. The event has a special finish line – the Packers’ ‘G’ painted on turf located in the parking lot.

    All participants will receive a Packers 5K Run T-shirt, a logoed bag, and a bib number and timing chip. To celebrate the race’s fifth anniversary, all participants will receive a commemorative medal. In addition, photos will be taken on the course and will be available at no cost on the Packers 5K Run website.

    Packers-themed awards will be presented to the top three finishers in each age group. An awards ceremony will take place following the conclusion of the race.

    Registration, which is $25 for adults and $15 for children (12 and younger), will be available online beginning Friday, May 23, at www.packers.com/5k. Mail-in registration is also an option, with forms available online and in person at Lambeau Field. Runners can also register at the Bellin Run Expo on Friday, June 13, at Astor Park in Green Bay. Early registration is encouraged. After July 13, registration fees will increase to $30 and $20, respectively.

  • Thu., Jul. 31, 2014 4:00 PM - 7:00 PM CDT PPCC Annual Reception

    The Packers Partners Annual Reception is set for Thursday, July 31, 2014 in the Lambeau Field Atrium from 4:00 PM- 7:00 PM.

    Packers Jarrett Boykin, Eddie Lacy, Datone Jones and DuJuan Harris will appear at the reception. The event will include a Player Guest Q&A, a Meet & Greet with a Packers Alumni and a Raffle Drawing.

    This is a member’s only event. Invitations will be mailed the week of June 23rd, and online registration will open at 9 am CDT on June 25th and will close on July 11th at 5 pm CDT. 

    Invitations will include all of this information and additional details.

    To sign up to become a member of the Packers Partners Club of Champions and receive an invitation to the reception, fans can go to www.packers.com/ppcc.

     
  • Sat., Aug. 02, 2014 5:30 PM CDT Packers Family Night, presented by Bellin Health

    ‘Family Night’ will serve as the introduction of the 2014 Green Bay Packers, in-person to a capacity crowd in Lambeau Field and on television to a state-wide audience.

    The event, which begins with in-stadium activities at 5:30 p.m., will benefit the Wendy’s Wonderful Kids foster care adoption program, a signature program of the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption.

News

Mike Spofford

Mike Spofford has worked as a sportswriter in Wisconsin since 1995 and has been a packers.com staff writer since 2006. He has covered the Packers' last two Super Bowl appearances, XXXII and XLV.

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Right away, Smith had look of quality

Posted May 19, 2011

D.J. Smith knows how to make a first impression.

Back in 2007, as a freshman at Appalachian State, Smith joined a team that had won back-to-back NCAA Football Championship Subdivision (formerly Division I-AA) titles and his competition at weakside linebacker was a senior and three-year starter named Cam Speer.

By midseason, the coaching staff had given Speer’s job to Smith. Even more impressive, the veteran starter would have given it to the youngster, too.

“It came to that time where I had to go talk to (Speer) and explain to him what I was going to have to do, because D.J. was more productive,” Appalachian State defensive coordinator and linebackers coach Dale Jones said. “So I brought him in the office and he looked at me and before I could even say anything, the kid said, ‘Coach, I know.’ D.J. was that good.”

Smith went on to lead Appalachian State to a third straight FCS title that year, kicking off a stellar four-year career that concluded with the Packers drafting him in the sixth round with the 186th overall pick.

That’s not to say Smith will stroll into Green Bay and immediately bump either of the incumbent starters at inside linebacker, A.J. Hawk and Desmond Bishop, down a notch on the depth chart.

It does say, however, that Smith won’t be intimidated by joining a championship outfit, and if there’s a way for him to make a contribution, he’s likely to find it.

“He’s such a football-savvy kid,” Jones said. “He’s probably the most intelligent football player I’ve ever been around.”

That’s a noteworthy statement considering Jones had just joined the Appalachian State staff back in 1996 when the school’s most famous football alum, Dexter Coakley, was a senior.

Coakley, a three-time Pro Bowler with the Dallas Cowboys, and Smith are the only players in Appalachian State history to compile more than 500 tackles in their careers.

“Could I compare them? Dexter was a faster kid than D.J. and D.J. is more physical, being 235 pounds,” Jones said. “D.J. is probably more complete, at this point.”

Working against Smith is the current labor situation, because he’s getting no minicamps or OTAs right now as he tries to make the jump from the FCS to the NFL.

Jones believes that Smith’s smarts will help him pick up Dom Capers’ 3-4 scheme fairly quickly, as soon as he starts learning it, and that the leap in levels won’t be as big for Smith as it may appear.

As proof that Smith belongs, Jones points to Appalachian State’s games against Southeastern Conference powers Florida in 2010 and LSU in 2008. Smith recorded 14 tackles against the Gators and 11 against the Tigers and never appeared on tape to have been in over his head, something the Packers surely noticed as they studied Smith as well.

“He played as well against those guys, if not better, because of the competition,” Jones said. “The offensive linemen had trouble getting leverage on him and had trouble getting a good block on him, because he’s always in the right place. He looked like he definitely should be on the field.”

That’s where Smith hopes to find himself in Green Bay as well, wherever there’s a role for him.

Jones believes Smith would have been “dominant” at middle linebacker, but the team had better candidates for that spot than on the weak side, so Smith stayed put until injuries forced him to start a handful of games in the middle as a senior. In his first start there, he had 14 tackles, a sack and an interception he returned for a score.

“Being a smart football player can get you a long way,” Jones said. “I just think if he gets the opportunity, he’ll be somebody that will really shock people.”

For more feature stories on the 2011 draft class, click here.

 
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